Employee Spotlight: John Bashant

Employee Spotlight: John Bashant

Say hello to Red Rabbit's resident Nutrition Compliance Manager.  John makes sure that in addition to being delicious,  Red Rabbit meals are compliant with USDA guidelines and that portion sizes are accurate for each age group--using spoodles helps (see photo).  But that's not all - this renaissance man also knows a thing or two about fixing a car engine.  Read on to see why John is an invaluable member of the Red Rabbit team.

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Employee Spotlight: Ligea Alexander

Employee Spotlight: Ligea Alexander

Some people might say that our education interns have the best job at Red Rabbit. Why? Because they get to cook   and play with our wonderful kids!  In addition to  assisting in our cooking and gardening labs, our interns  have an  impact on children's lifelong relationships with food. Get to know one of our star interns, Ligea, and  hear a powerful story of how she connected with a child through cooking.

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"Can You Please Pass the Broccoli?" The Many Benefits of Family Style Dining

"Can You Please Pass the Broccoli?" The Many Benefits of Family Style Dining

As parents, educators and caregivers, we greatly impact what and how our children eat,  from choosing to serve specific foods to overseeing portion sizes and encouraging children to explore new flavors. As role models, we can teach our kids to feed themselves in a healthy way. A surprisingly easy way to practice this skill   at home or in  school is  by instilling an  old approach  to mealtime - family style dining.  

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Red Rabbit Gift Guide: Ideas for Tots, Teachers & Foodies

Red Rabbit Gift Guide: Ideas for Tots, Teachers & Foodies

Whether you're looking for the perfect gift for your food curious toddler or a housewarming present for the family next door, we've got you covered.  Check out Red Rabbit's holiday gift guide for creative gift  ideas for kids, teachers, and lovers of good food. 

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Tips for "Choosy" Eaters

Tips for "Choosy" Eaters

‘No! Yuck! Gross!' 

If you've been around children during meal time,  you've probably heard them express these sentiments when presented with  unfamiliar foods.

At Red Rabbit, we've  been creating  our made from scratch meals and serving them to  kids for  over 10 years, so we've come across  our fair share of cautious eaters.  Luckily,   we know a thing or two about getting children to try new foods – and enjoy them! 

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Employee Spotlight: Jonathan Vargas

Employee Spotlight: Jonathan Vargas

Here at Red Rabbit, one of the most important jobs is delivering made from scratch food from our Harlem kitchen to our partners across New York City.  That's where Jonathan Vargas comes in. Navigating the chaotic streets and highways of NYC late at night or at the break of dawn, Jonathan always arrives at his schools with a big smile on his face. Read on to hear why this Red Rabbit team member of over three years loves his job in this month's employee spotlight.

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Employee Spotlight: Valerie Collins

Employee Spotlight: Valerie Collins

Each month, we'll highlight one of the many incredible employees at Red Rabbit that help spread our mission of bringing healthy, made from scratch meals to schools.  

Meet Val, an Operations and Services Associate at Red Rabbit. If you've ever called the Red Rabbit office, you've most  likely  spoken to Val,  who is the voice  of our help line from 7 am - 4 pm each day. Born and raised in NYC, Val is a full time mom and college student majoring in Business management. Read our interview with her to find out how she got her start at Red Rabbit and how she got her nickname.

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Why Fresh Is Best

Why Fresh Is Best

We've   all   heard about the   benefits  of   purchasing   locally grown and seasonal produce,   while  limiting  our spending on  processed and packaged foods.

At Red Rabbit, we  adhere to the belief that  fresh food  tastes better and is better for us, which is why we use  whole foods in all of our made  from  scratch meals. But why are whole, fresh foods actually better for us, and what's the harm in overly processed foods?  Read on as we  investigate the answers to these  questions.

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Fall Harvest, 3 Sisters Tacos Recipe

Fall Harvest, 3 Sisters Tacos Recipe

Autumn in New York is an exciting and rewarding time to be a fruit and vegetable lover.  As Grow NYC’s What's Available chart demonstrates, fall months offer New Yorkers an incredible variety of available produce, with upwards of 40 different local vegetables easily found at farmers markets across the city.  

One veggie we’re sure to see lots of in the coming weeks and months is winter squash.  Squashes come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, making them the perfect candidate for fall cooking as well as a great option for fall themed decorating at work and around the house. 

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Top 5 Kitchen Tools for Kids

Top 5 Kitchen Tools for Kids

Using kitchen tools to transform foods into a meal can make cooking even more exciting for children. The Red Rabbit Education Team relies on these high-quality, kid-friendly tools to create safe, fun-filled, educational cooking environments for our students.

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A Better No-Nut Butter

A Better No-Nut Butter

With the prevalence of nut allergies at our children’s schools and our own workspaces, we often have to forgo the creamy goodness of nut butters made from almonds or peanuts.  That is, until now.  There's a new   butter in town that's been getting quite a lot of attention here at Red Rabbit as the perfect alternative to peanut butter. Our culinary team has been experimenting with new breakfast and snack options that highlight this savory butter, whether paired with jelly in a sandwich or smeared over a rice cake.

You might be surprised to discover that this alternative treat comes from a humble   legume, the soybean, which is used to make Soy Nut butter. This seriously delicious, nut-free alternative can be used in any recipe or snack that traditionally calls for a nut butter.  

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My Child has a Nut Allergy. What Next?

Peanuts are not Nuts

Sneezing, hives, difficulty breathing, or nausea–are all allergy symptoms to peanuts.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), more than 3 million people in the United States report being allergic to peanuts, tree nuts or both, and approximately 1% of the U.S. population has a peanut allergy.  Nearly half of the 150 deaths attributed to food allergies each year are caused by peanut allergies.

People with peanut allergies often are concerned about possible reactions from tree nuts; however, tree nuts are botanically unrelated to the peanut, which is a legume. It is estimated that 25 to 35 percent of people with peanut allergy have sensitivity to tree nuts, as well. The biggest reason people allergic to peanuts should be careful of items with tree nuts is that they are often manufactured around equipment that has touched peanuts (this is called “cross contamination”).

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Water: To Bottle or Not to Bottle?

Water: To Bottle or Not to Bottle?

We're in the heat of summer, and hopefully we're all drinking plenty of water...but do you drink a lot of bottled water? Well, you aren't alone. Americans drink billions of gallons of the stuff every year - 8 billion in 2009 alone! We choose to drink bottled water for many reasons: convenience, health, safety, taste and what-have-you – and why not? It's a great alternative to sweetened beverages like soda and iced tea, both drinks that contribute greatly to growing public health issues as well as our growing waistlines. But is bottled water better than tap? Is BPA in plastic bottles truly harmful to our health? How much water do we even need to drink?? These answers and more you'll find in this week's action packed Red Rabbit blog!

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Why is Environmental Education Important?

Why is Environmental Education Important?

Throughout the year, Red Rabbit offers education programs for our meal partners as well as non meal partner schools. This summer, Red Rabbit is taking action to encourage our friends and partners to help educate youth on the environment. Exposing our children to the beauty and joy of nature can be a daunting task, but here are ideas to incorporate environmental education into your classroom's curriculum, as well as some easy and fun ways to do it. Tight budget? There are also some funding opportunities to help ease the cost!

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The Best Midsummer Staple You Might Be Missing

The Best Midsummer Staple You Might Be Missing

Hi, everyone!
This week, the Red Rabbit Team wanted to feature the best midsummer staple you might be missing!  Beautiful, decorative -- and most importantly, garlicky! -- these curly greens pack a lot of flavor into a pretty swirl.

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Getting Our Leafy Greens Isn't So...Chard!

Getting Our Leafy Greens Isn't So...Chard!

Eating our veggies, especially leafy greens,  is a no-brainer when it comes to a healthy diet. While kale and spinach tend to get all the fun lately, let's not forget there are other options out there!  Chard  is one of those options, and is a great way to change up our summer cooking!

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When It Comes to Summer Refreshments, Soda Falls Flat

When It Comes to Summer Refreshments, Soda Falls Flat

Pop. Soda. Coke. Soda-pop. Whether from the Midwest, the Northeast, the South, or a combination, at some point or another our tastebuds have been taken by this sweet drink, particularly during these hot, humid summer months. Yet through the years, soda consumption has become a popular suspect in what is behind the increasing rates of obesity in adults and children alike.

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Red Rabbit, Starring Jennie Plewka, Education Instructor!

Red Rabbit, Starring Jennie Plewka, Education Instructor!

This week we are proud to feature a member of  the Red Rabbit family, our very own Jennie Plewka! Jennie is part of our talented  education  team  here at Red Rabbit.  We sat down with Jennie  to find out a little bit more about what she does at Red Rabbit!

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Let Freedom - And Our Health - Ring!

Let Freedom - And Our Health - Ring!

A Very Patriotic Hello, Red Rabbit Friends and Family!

July  4th  is a time for celebrating with family, friends  and loved ones around an abundance  of  delicious home-cooked foods. While we indeed live in a sweet land  of  liberty, sometimes the American plethora  of  food choices makes it too easy for an Independence Day barbeque to be dominated by fried snacks, meat and indulgent desserts. The good news is that we don’t need to compromise flavor, or our most-loved patriotic recipes, to make a  July  4th  barbeque a little healthier this year!

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